Noise complaints

How to avoid causing a noise nuisance

Noise is generally unwanted sound - it could be too loud, too intrusive or just happen at the wrong time of day. This guide aims to stop you from becoming a noisy neighbour and causing a noise nuisance.

Dos and Don'ts

Do

  • Do be considerate towards your neighbours, are they elderly, do they work night shifts?
  • Do think about your neighbours, especially when you are doing something noisy, e.g. playing music or carrying out DIY work.
  • Do tell your neighbours if you are having a party or are carrying out noisy DIY work.
  • Do be co-operative if asked by a neighbour to reduce noise levels. Always remain calm and open minded in any discussion with your neighbour.
  • Do keep the noise levels from a radio, TV or music centre down, especially after 11.00pm. Remember, if you are having difficulty hearing someone speaking in the same room, then the noise levels are too high.
  • Do remember that your floor may be someone else’s ceiling. Hard surfaces such as laminated floors can be a particular problem. Mats and carpets with fitted underlay and heavy curtains help to absorb and reduce the transfer of sound.
  • Do remember that noise and vibration transmits easily through walls and floors.
  • Do ensure that when you are away another key holder is easily contactable to deal with house or car alarms.
  • Do train your dog so it does not bark at just anything that moves and is kept indoors overnight.

Don’t 

  • Don’t carry out noisy DIY work after 9pm or before 8am. Drilling and hammering are particularly disturbing.
  • Don’t play music at levels which annoys your neighbours in their own home. Keep the bass level down, as this can be particularly annoying.
  • Don’t play a radio, TV or a music centre at high volumes in your garden.
  • Don’t have loud, late night parties on a regular basis. Any noise that is audible by any of your neighbours after 11pm is likely to be a statutory noise nuisance.
  • Don’t leave dogs alone for long periods. Get a friend or neighbour to check on them.
  • Don’t allow children to play noisily. If you live in a flat don’t allow children to jump about on the floor in a way that disturbs your neighbours below.
  • Don’t sound car horns, slam doors or rev engines inappropriately at night.

If a noise nuisance is found to exist, a council officer can serve you with an “Abatement Notice” requiring you to stop the nuisance immediately. If the notice is not complied with, the council can seize your sound making equipment and prosecute you in the Magistrate’s Court. On conviction, the court can fine you up to £5,000. If you would like further advice please contact Slough Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Team on 01753 875255.